Power, an Essay on the Film "Chinatown"
Near the end of the scene after Mr. Cross has hired Mr. Gittes to find the girl, Mr. Gittes
wants to know why Mr. Cross wants the girl. All Mr. Cross will say is "[j]ust find the girl."
Knowledge makes Mr. Gittes feel powerful. By denying Gittes's desire for more knowledge, Mr.Cross is weakening Mr. Gittes and strengthening himself. While saying this, Mr. Cross wears the same coy smile he wore when the two were talking about the fish. <Tab/>This is a mystery story. To draw the viewer into the story, the director must allow the viewer to analyze the evidence. In this scene, the director gives plenty of material to analyze.
The conclusion the viewer reaches, in this case that Mr. Cross has the upper hand over Mr. Gittes despite Mr. Gittes's limited knowledge, is encouraged by the design of the director but is not completely revealed unless the plot is analyzed by the viewer.
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